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Of whai huppened during the Time comprehended in the Third
Book of the History of the Reformation ; from the Year 1535, to King Henry's Death, anno 1546-7.
King Henry seemed not a little pleased with his title of the supreme head of the church of England; of which it was enacted, in the session of parliament that sat after the breach was made with Rome, that it should be for ever joined to the other titles of the crown, and be reckoned one of them. He ordered an office for all ecclesiastical matters, and a seal to be cut; which, in an inhibition sent to the archbishop, in order to a royal visitation of the whole clergy of all England, is, for aught I know, first mentioned. It is dated the 18th of September, 1535; and, at the end, these words are added; “ Under our seal, that we use in ecclesiastical matters, which we have ordered to be hereunto appended.”
The archbishop of Canterbury's title was also in convocation ordered to be altered : instead of the title of legate of the apostolic see, he was to be designed metropolitan and primate. This last was one of his ancient titles. In that ses sion, there was some discourse concerning heresy, and of some English books ; in particular of Tindal's books. And there was a book laid before them, with the title of a Primer ; of which there is no other account given, but that, from the rubrics of it, they suspected it was a book not fit to be published. This, it seems, produced a petition to the king, that he would command all heretical books to be called in, within a time limited; and that he would appoint the Scripture to be translated in the vulgar tongue; but that though the laity might read it, yet they were to be required not to dispute concerning the catholic faith.
It is very probable, that a breach was upon this occasion begun between Craniner and Gardiner. The sharpness against heresy was probably supported by Gardiner, as the motion for the translation of the Bible was by Cranmer. But when Cranmēr, in order to an archiepiscopal visitation of the whole province, having obtained the king's licence for it on
the 28th of April, sent out his inhibition, according to form, to the ordinaries during the visitation ; upon this, Gardiner complained to the king of it, for two reasons. He thought the title of primate of England did derogate from the king's power. The other was, that since his diocess had been vi. sited within five years last past, and was now to pay for ever tenths to the king, it ought not to be charged with this visitation. Of this Cromwell gave Cranmer notice. He, on the 12th of May, wrote a vindication of himself, which will be found in the Coliection (No. xxxvii).
“He believed that Gardiner (who wanted neither law, invention, nor craft, to set out his matters to the best advantage) studied to value himself upon his zeal for the king's supremacy, that so he might seem more concerned for that than for himself. Cranmer laid himself and all his titles at the king's feet: but he wrote, Why did not Gardiner move this sooner? For he had received his monition on the 20th of April. The pope did not think it lessened his supremacy, that he had many primates under him: no more did his title lessen the king's supremacy.
Gardiner knew well, that if the pope had thought those subaltern dignities had weakened bis supreme one, he would have got all the bishops to be put on the level; there being many contentions concerning jurisdiction in the court of Rome. But if all the bishops of the kingdom set no higher value on their styles and titles than he did, the king should do in those matters what he pleased. For if he thought that his style was in any sort against the king's authority, he would beg leave to lay it down. He felt in his heart, that he had no sort of regard to his style or title, further than as it was for the setting forth of God's word and will ; but he would not leave any just thing at the pleasure of the bishop of Winchester, he being no otherwise affectionate to him ihan he was.
In the apostles' days there was a Diotrephes, who loved the pre-eminence; and he had more successors than all the other apostles; from whom all glorious titles and inuch pomp was come into the church. He wished that he and all his brethren might leave all their styles, and call themselves only the apostles of Jesus Christ; so that they took not the name vainly, but were such indeed ; and did order their diocesses, so that not parchment, lead, or wax, but the conversion of their people, might be the seals of their office; as St. Paul said the Corinthians were to him.' He answers the other part very fully; but that will be found in the letter itself; it not being of that importance to deserve that any abstract should be made of it.
It was soon observed that there was a great faction
formed against any reformation in doctrine or worship, and that those who favoured and promoted it were ill used by the greater part of the bishops, of which I shall give one instance, and by it one may judge of the rest; for I have seen many complaints to the same purpose. Barlow was, by Queen Anne's favour, made prior of HaverfordWest, in Pembrokeshire. He set himself to preach the pure gospel there, and found many were very desirous to hear it; but he was in danger of his life daily by reason of it: and an accusation being brought against him by a black friar there, set on by Rawlins, then bishop of St. David's, who both rewarded him for it, and recommended him to the arches; for Barlow had appealed to the king; he owns, that, by Cromwell's favour, their designs against him were deteated; but he having sent a servant home about business, the bishop's officers cited him to their courts, and ransacked his house, where they found an English Testament, with an exposition of the Sermon on the Mount, and of some other parts of the New Testament. Upon this they clamoured against him as a heretic for it. They charged the mayor of the town to put him and some others in prison, seeking by all means to find witnesses against them; but none appearing, they were forced to let them go, but valued themselves upon this their zeal against heresy. He sets forth the danger that all were in, who desired to live according to the laws of God, as became faithful subjects: for in that multitude of monks, friars, and secular priests, that was then in those parts, there was not one that sincerely preached the word of God, and very few that favoured it. He complains of the enormous vices, fraudulent exactions, and heathenish idolatry, that were shamefully supported under the clergy's jurisdiction; of which he offered to make full proof, if it should be demanded and received: but that being done, he desired leave to remove from thence; for he could neither go home, nor stay there safely, without a special protection. This letter will be found in the Collection (No. xxxviii).
Barlow was that year made bishop of St. Asaph, and the year after was translated to St. David's, and was after that removed to Wells, but driven out by Queen Mary, and was made bishop of Chichester by Queen Elizabeth, in which he lived ten years.
The secret opposition that the bishops gave to the steps made towards a reformation, obliged Cromwell to send many agents, in whom he trusted, up and down the nation, to observe all men's tempers and behaviour. Leigh, among others, being sent to York, did (in January) enjoin the archbishop,
by an order from the king, to preach the word of God, and to set forth the king's prerogative. He also enjoined him, to bring up to the king all the foundations of his see, and all commissions granted to it. In these, he did not doubt but they would find many things fit to be reformed : and he advised, that every bishop might be so ordered, that their dioceses might be better instructed and edified. That would establish them in their fidelity to the king, and to his succession : but the jurisdictions might be augmented, or diminished, as should seem convenient. This letter, which will be found in the Collection (No. xxxix), opens a design that I find often mentioned, of calling in all the pope's bulls, and all the charters belonging to the several sees, and regulating them all. But, perhaps, the first design being the suppressing the monasteries, it was not thought fit to alarm the secular clergy till that was once done : yet the order for sending up all bulls was at the same time generally executed. There is a letter of Tonstall's, writ soon after this to Cromwell, put in the Collection (No. xl), in which he mentions the king's letters to all the bishops, to come up immediately after the feast of the purification, with all the bulls they had obtained from Rome, at any time. But the king, considering that Tonstall had gone down but late, ordered Dr. Layton to write to him, that he needed not come up ; but advised, that he should write to the king, that he was ready to do as other bishops did, and to deliver up all such bulls as the king desired of him. Layton wrote to him that Cromwell, as his friend, had assured the king that he would do it.
In answer to this, Tonstall thanked him for his kindness on that and on many other occasions. He did not understand to what intent'these bulls were called for (and it seems he apprehended it was to have all the bishops give up their right to their bishoprics), yet he had sent them all up to be delivered at the king's pleasure: he adds, that he hoped by this demand the king did not intend to make him leave his bishopric, and both to turn him out of his living, and to ruin all his servants that had their living only by him; in which he wrote he could not be thought either ambitious or unreasonable: so he desired to know what the king's pleasure was, not doubting but that the king would use him as well as he used the other bishops in the kingdom, since as he had obtained these bulls by him, he had renounced every thing in them that was contrary to his prerogative. lle had but five bulls, for the rest were delivered to those to whom they were addressed : so he commits himself to the king's good
ness, and to Cromwell's favour *.” Dating his letter from Aukland, the 29th of January, which must be in the year 1535-6.
Tonstall might be under more than ordinary apprehensions of some effect of the king's displeasure ; for, as he had opposed tiie declaring him to be the supreme head in the convocation of York, so he had stuck firmly to the asserting the lawfulness of the king's marriage to Queen Katherine. Before the meeting of the parliament, in which that matter was determined, he, with the proxy that he sent to the bishop of Ely, wrote him a letter, of which Mr. Richard Jones saw the original, which he has inserted in his voluminous Collections, that are in the Bodleian Library; in which these words are, after he had told him that he had given him full power to consent or dissent from every thing that was to be proposed. He adds,
" Yet nevertheless I beseech you, if any thing harmful or prejudicial in any point to the marriage between the king's highness and the queen's grace shall be proposed, wherein our voices shall be demanded ; in your own name say what you will, and what God putteth in your mind : but I desire you, and on God's behalf I require you, never in my name to consent to any such thing proposed, either harmful or prejudicial to the marriage aforesaid ; but expressly to dissent unto the same : and for your discharge on that behalf, ye may show, when you think it requisite, this my particular declaration of my mind, made unto you therein, and what I have willed and required you to do in my name in this point, praying your lordship not to do otherwise in my name, as my similar trust is in you that ye will not.' Dated from Aukland in January, but neither day nor year is mentioned.
(1536.) The session of parliament in which the act of the succession passed, by which the king's marriage with Queen Katherine was condemned, meeting in January, this letter seems to be written before that session; and yet no opposition was made to that act in the house of lords, either by the bishop of Ely, or by the bishop of Bath, whom he had made his second proxy, as appears by the same letter, in which he is also named. The act passed so soon, that it was read the first time on the 20th of March, and passed on the 23d in the house of lords, without either dissent or protest. It is also certain that Tonstall afterwards took the oath enjoined by that act. But how these bishops came to be
* Cott. Libr. Cleop. E. 4.